What We Do
Pathway Foundation believes that EVERYONE DESERVES THE BEST CHANCE IN LIFE, as such we empower young, marginalised people in their diversity especially those living with HIV, disabled and KP with the education, skills and resources needed to take up productive livelihoods and employment opportunities within their own communities.
Economic Empowerment Interventions
Uganda has the youngest population in the world, with a median age of 15 years.. Uganda has a very large youth unemployment rate and school dropout due to poverty and other socioeconomic factors. Youth unemployment is also a big issue in Uganda with the unemployment rate for young people ages 15–24 at 83%. Current research indicates that People with HIV, KP and other disadvantaged young people are at greater risk of poverty and disempowerment. Moreso, a large proportion of young people with disadvantaged young people are illiterate and lacks professional skills. Most jobs available are in the informal sector which means casual or unreliable work, no job security and low pay. They also face a number of challenges, including poverty, child labor, under-employment, unemployment, and lack of relevant education and skills for employment. It is estimated that 3 out of 10 youth in Africa live on less than $1 per day.
Many Ugandan youth are ill-prepared to secure decent work and are vulnerable to hazardous labor due to low school completion rates; inadequate formal or vocational training opportunities; insufficient technical and/or soft skills; and lack of entrepreneurial skills needed to identify local market opportunities; negative perceptions about youth; and pervasive poverty
To try and address this, Pathway Foundation has designed programmes and opportunities to give skills to young people. Within the target group, we are keen to support young and adolescent girls as many of our families are female-headed households and women are more likely to spend their income on the basic needs of their families.
We provide a safe place for young, disadvantaged people to learn and gain skills.
We provide vocational training opportunities to young people with an emphasis on skills development.
We facilitate opportunities to improve the income and financial independence of young people in the community.
We provide support and advice to allow them to either start up a small business or improve an existing one.
Pathway Foundation provides training on specific skills and prepared young and vulnerable people to work in specific trades or occupations. These include apprenticeships and voluntary placements. Through this programme Pathway Foundation will promote petite trade and live skills development such as carpentry, bricklaying, hairdressing, candle making, mechanics and catering.
Small Loans Programme
Due to high unemployment rates, social norms and low education levels employment opportunities for young, disadvantaged people. Pathway Foundation provides support and advice to young people to allow them to either start up a small business or improve an existing one.
Most of these women lack collateral, steady employment, and credit history, so they do not qualify for access to banking or traditional loans. Through increased income, those who take a loan can better provide for their families.
Voluntary savings and Loan schemes
Pathway Foundation is keen to harness the power of economic solidarity within the community by bringing together groups of young people and encouraging them to save money through their respective groups. This money is then deposited into a group account and legible members can borrow from with to carry out business activities. Interest from the loan is then reinvested into the group for long-term economic benefits. We would encourage, support, motivate and build the capacity of young, disadvantaged people to harness this opportunity including a revolving scheme that enables young people to improve their economic outcomes.
Integrated Functional Literacy (IFLY) program
This programme provides youth with no or little formal education with functional literacy and numeracy skills; (2) a Non-formal Education (NFE) Trade Certificate program targeting youth interested in pursuing work in a specific trade; (3) support for youth in secondary school at high-risk of dropping out and entering child labor; and (4) training in entrepreneurship and agribusiness (including through Junior Farmer Field Schools), linked to companies to start a microfranchise or microenterprise, and/or linked to internships. The project will also link youth and their caregivers to existing Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA); increase AYEDI youth engagement in civic activities; and build youth’s leadership and advocacy skills.
SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS SERVICES (SRHR)
According to UNICEF young people (ages 10-25) currently account for 77% of the total population in Uganda. The needs of AGYW with regards to SRHR are often overlooked and little intervention has been done by the government, civil society, and communities to prepare these young people to navigate their emerging sexuality, support them or provide facilities that help them better realise their SRHR. Given these demographics and the population of the country, special attention is needed to support adolescents living in marginalized rural settlements as they remain to be most vulnerable to accessing SRHR information and services. Significant gaps and barriers perpetuate access and uptake of SRHR services in Uganda and this has given rise to teenage pregnancy, early marriages, increase HIV infection, female genital mutilation, poor family planning, increased STIs and GBV amongst others. Pathway Foundation believes that Progress in SRHR requires confrontation of the barriers embedded in laws, policies, the economy and in social norms and values…achieving sexual and reproductive health rests on realising sexual and reproductive rights
Given the significant health challenges facing marginalised and vulnerable people in Uganda, Pathway Foundation is committed to supporting them to increase control over, and improve, their health in a holistic and sustainable way. This includes working with governments, communities, and individuals to cope with and address health challenges through designing cost-effective, community-relevant, and tailored interventions, building healthy public policies, creating supportive environments, and strengthening health systems. We would also create a pathway for young and vulnerable women and KP to maximise health outcomes. Our priority under health promotion includes access to HIV and SRHR integration especially equitable access to Comprehensive HIV, SHR and GBV services, especially for vulnerable populations
HIV prevention, Care and Treatment
Uganda continues to face a high burden and there is a fear covid has halted progress made in the last few years. HIV prevalence is almost four times higher among young women aged 15 to 24 than young men of the same age. This is caused by many issues including gender-based violence (including sexual abuse) and a lack of access to education, health services, social protection and information about how they cope with these inequities and injustices. Also, in Uganda, approximately 25 per cent of new HIV infections are among members of these key populations and their partners.
Pathway Foundation provides equitable access to high-quality HIV prevention, testing services and HIV care and treatment and GBV services, especially to marginalised and vulnerable young people and the Key population. We work through government structures and health care providers to provide voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC), Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), as well as prevention of mother-to-child transmission initiatives as guided by the Ugandan Ministry of Health. We also engage community-level structures to conduct mobilisation and sensitisation of our target population as a way of increasing the uptake of HIV prevention services. We optimise the use of peer educators, community health workers, VMMC male champions as well as local council leaders in our community initiatives. Our key priority on HIV includes HIV Testing Services 2. HIV Prevention HIV Care and Treatment 4. Gender-Based Violence, counselling, referral, awareness, and distribution of, commodities and suppliers, training and capacity strengthening of Health workers, advocacy and policy changes to maximise HIV outcomes for marginalised, vulnerable and KP.